THE FINAL GASP: The Dinos women’s hockey team fought hard but ended up with a nail in their coffin.
Aaron Whitfield/The Gauntlet

T-Birds book hockeysaurs a tee time

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No one expected much when the season began, but that doesn't mean there is no disappointment now that it is over.

The Dinos women's hockey team's first three games were indicative of how their season would go. Dropping all three away from home, the young hockeysaurs seemed destined for another tough journey through the Canada West season. But, in their first home game of the year they surprised more than a few people including the visiting University of Lethbridge Pronghorns when they won 1--0.

That victory set them atop the cellar stairs and a gave the squad a flickering playoff hope for the rest of the year. The Dinos' victory over L.A. gave them a distinct advantage over the last place University of British Columbia T-Birds heading into their match up last weekend. Whether by winning or by a pair of ties, Calgary only needed two points to seal the deal for post-season berth. But, things didn't look promising from the get go.

The Birds came out in a frenzy on Friday, popping one past Dino goaltending sensation Tonya Young only 15 seconds into the game. A team swelling with pride and work ethic, the hometown squad equalized at 7:12 of the second on a marker from Stephanie Wahl. And when UBC took a 2--1 lead into the waning moments of the third, the hockeysaurs stepped up again forcing overtime on a goal by Andrea Poupart. Nothing came of the extra frame and Calgary sat poised to end UBC's year the following night. But, alas, it was not to be.

The visitors proved to be too much for the battered hometown heroines. Despite turning away 31 shots on Saturday, it was the two others that Young allowed that sealed the door on the Dinos. Seemingly destined for a spot in the first-round, an empty netter by UBC's Cindy Galiean and a 3--1 Birds victory reversed fate and instead of packing for Edmonton, the Dinos are now simply packing. In reality though, a playoff berth would just have been prolonging the inevitable. The Pandas are undefeated this season and look poised to win the whole kit and kabootle.

The season may be over for the hockeysaurs but there is no room for shame in their locker room. This was a team that knew the odds were stacked against them meet and still went out and competed. If they continue to grow like they did in 2001/02, it may not be long before they turn the tables and make a run at the title.